Spanning across approximately 110 hectares of land, the Frasers Solar Farm will be located about 2km south of the town of Toongabbie in Eastern Victoria.
With a proposed capacity of up to 75 megawatts, the solar project is expected to generate enough clean energy to supply around 25,000 homes. This will assist Australia in minimising carbon emissions by approximately 157,000 tonnes per year.
A project proposal is currently under development taking into account the feedback and ideas received from the local community. The project is envisaged to commence construction in late 2020 and be fully operational in 2021.
SOLAR FARM DESIGN
Frasers Solar Farm will comprise solar panels similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. Individual panels will be approximately 1m wide by 2m high and will be attached to single axis tracking systems that follow the sun from east to west, maximising sun exposure and power production.
Raised approximately 2m above the ground, the panels will be between 2 and 4m high, with maximum height reached early and late in the day, when the panels are tilted to capture the sun at its lowest. To avoid shading and enable access, the tracking systems will be spaced approximately 8m apart, which means they will only cover about half of the available land.
These large gaps between the solar panels (not to mention the 2m of space beneath them) can be put to agricultural uses such as sheep grazing. This practice has become commonplace globally, with sheep thriving in the sheltered conditions.
A 10m landscape buﬀer will be provided along the project boundary to protect the area’s visual amenity. Landscaping will include a mix of indigenous shrubs and trees of varied heights and will have the added beneﬁt of creating important new habitats for native fauna, thus supporting the region’s biodiversity.
The solar farm will be set back approximately 20m from the boundary. This includes 10m of landscape buﬀering and a further 10m ﬁrebreak, which will double as an internal access track.
HOW WILL THE PROJECT OPERATE?
The Frasers Solar Farm will comprise of solar PV panels that are similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. These panels however, will be fastened to single-axis tracking structures that will move from east to west as the day progresses, tracking the sun’s position throughout the day. This function guarantees the highest level of sun exposure possible to the panels and maximises their power production.
To properly direct the power into our electricity grid, the output of the solar PV arrays is converted by inverters from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Its next phase is to go through transformers where its voltage is stepped up to the required level for grid connection. Ultimately, once the power is ready to be fed back into the grid, it will be transmitted through the National Electricity Market (NEM) – one of the largest electrical networks in the world and the foundation of 80% of Australia’s electricity.
Frasers Solar Farm will bring empowerment and economic growth to the local community. Our continual open dialogue with the local residents, community groups, the Council and relevant authorities ensures that all opinions and ideas are considered in the process. We appreciate the input from members of the local community and always strive to work in conjunction with them to resolve any enquiries about the project.
Furthermore, we are undertaking a variety of in-depth environmental assessments and engineering studies to pinpoint any potential hazards to the environment and manage them before moving forward. These include, but are not limited to:
- Economic benefit assessment to ensure that the development will benefit the municipality in the long term;
- Preservation of cultural and heritage sites;
- Management of traffic conditions;
- Protection of the local ecology (both flora and fauna) by managing environmental risks;
- Surface water evaluation to ensure the integrity of the existing watercourse; and
- Visual landscaping assessment and natural screening to mitigate any potential impacts.
|Commence consultation and landowner agreement||Ongoing|
|Submit Development Application to The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning||October 2019|
|Commence construction (subject to Department approval)||Late 2020|
|Frasers Solar Farm operational||Late 2021 to early 2022|
|Reinstall full agricultural use or, if permitted, upgrade solar farm equipment||2050-2055|